The Back-up Plan Movie Shootings

Though electing to shoot the majority of The Back-up Plan in Los Angeles, the production filmed for two weeks in New York. While only in New York a short period of time, Alan Poul and his team utilized those two weeks to the fullest to ensure New York itself was adequately represented on screen. They shot at a wide variety of locations around the city including on Fifth Avenue along Central Park, in the Tribeca Farmer’s Market, on Park Avenue, along the brownstones of Greenwich Village, and at Gray’s Papaya on Sixth Avenue.

Shooting in New York was invaluable and the filmmakers made certain they didn’t lose that quintessential Big Apple look when shooting in Los Angeles. They were determined that the sets wouldn’t read like Los Angeles for New York. “We tried to keep it as authentic as possible so when we ultimately do end up in New York, the look is seamless,” says Black.

The filmmakers traveled to New York a couple times in the preparation process to identify key details of the areas they were about to portray. They, then, strategized on how they would recreate the areas in Los Angeles. “It’s really about choosing locations very carefully,” notes Poul.

The Warner Bros backlot provided the perfect slate on which to build the diverse areas of Manhattan represented in the script. “It’s unique among the backlots around town,” says renowned production designer Alec Hammond. “You can actually look in every direction and see buildings – buildings that have the right amount of eclectic architecture to really feel like New York.”

The Warner Bros backlot’s versatility was due in part to the fact that it was a controlled environment. Lighting could be manipulated, color pallets could be customized and one ‘street block’ could be re-dressed to represent different geographic parts of the city depending on the scene. Creative design detail would also help Poul and Hammond achieve, as Hammond puts it, “a magical look to New York.”

A number of other LA-area locations served as New York including a farm in the Santa Monica mountains that doubled for Stan’s farm in Upstate New York and Pasadena’s Pasadena Elks Lodge which served as the interior of Nana’s Shady Brook Retirement Center in Queens.

Jennifer Lopez in The Back-Up Plan Movie

Jennifer Lopez as Zoe in The Back-up Plan

“The script definitely rang true to me, having just gone through my own experience of having babies for the first time,” reveals Lopez. “All the little jokes about what it is to be pregnant - being tired, insatiably hungry and the hormonal changes. I could really relate.”

Black recalls his realization after the filmmakers’ first meeting with Lopez that she was the perfect match for Zoe. “She literally embodied Zoe and she completely got the script. She understood the humor involved in this character becoming a new mom, and the humorous and scary nature of her having a new lover in her life at the same time.”

Lopez’s grasp of the material was important but she also had the right chops for a role that requires the ability to play comedy, as well as more tender moments. “Jennifer can convey the perfect amount of emotion and comedy all at the same time,” says Black. “She’s an all around solid actress. Most times you find an actor who can just do the comedy or just the drama. It’s rare to find someone who is strong with both.”

The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender

Starring: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Jessica Jade Andres, Aasif Mandvi, Shaun Toub, Cliff Curtis

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Screenplay: M. Night Shyamalan

Release Date: July 2nd, 2010

MPAA Rating: None.

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Adaptation of Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender," which follows the adventures of the successor to a long line of Avatars who must put aside his irresponsible ways and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Land and Air nations. The studios have dropped "Avatar" in the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron's Avatar.

The Fire Nation is conducting a merciless war of oppression against the other three nations. The film's hero, the reluctant young Aang (Noah Ringer) is the "Last Airbender" - the Avatar who, according to prophecy, has the ability to manipulate all elements and bring all peoples together. Aided by a girl named Katara Waterbender Protection (Nicola Peltz) and her brother Sokka bull-headed, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their world torn by war.

Jackson Rathbone plays the brother of Katara and Dev Patel plays Prince of the Fire Nation. Mandvi is to play the role of Commander Zhao, an ambitious and angry Fire Nation commander.